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Many businesses consider implementing a URL filtering solution because they want to block access to specific websites. Social media and gaming websites can be a major drain on productivity and employers may be keen to block access to these sites to prevent the staff from wasting time at work.
However, a URL filtering solution is a much more sophisticated tool than just a mechanism to block access to specific websites. There are actually many benefits to be gained from using such a tool to control Internet access.
One of the biggest concerns for IT security professionals is insider data breaches. Firewalls can be used to stop hackers from gaining access to sensitive data; however, employees can all too easily click on malicious links contained in phishing emails or visit websites that download malware or ransomware.
A recent study by Google showed more than 800,000 websites are used for drive-by malware downloads. A recent Symantec study showed that three-quarters of websites are malicious in nature. To an untrained eye, these websites do not appear malicious. It is therefore, difficult for employees to recognize any threat.
Malvertising is also a major risk. Cybercriminals are using third-party ad blocks on popular websites to display malicious images that redirect visitors to sites where malware is downloaded. These adverts can appear on well-known and trusted websites. The New York Times, Yahoo, and the BBC have all been discovered to have displayed these malicious adverts.
A URL filtering solution can be used to mitigate these threats. Third-party adverts can be blocked and end users can be prevented from visiting websites known to contain malware. Websites can also be blocked by category to prevent end users from engaging in a risky online behavior. A URL filtering solution is therefore, an excellent defense against insider threats.
Organizations can manage legal risk by filtering Internet access. Employees can be prevented from engaging in illegal online activities such as visiting darknet sites or illegal marketplaces. Downloads and file sharing files using peer-2-peer networks can be blocked along with the use of unauthorized chat programs such as Facebook Messenger. Access to pornography and other inappropriate material can also be blocked to prevent the creation of a hostile working environment, thus avoiding the legal issues that often result from inappropriate web access
Video streaming and file sharing can take up a considerable amount of bandwidth. Organizations may wish to carefully control the types of sites that can be accessed to ensure sufficient bandwidth is always available.
Some web filtering solutions also include an option to block access to certain websites at specific times. A URL filtering solution can be used to block access to pornography at all times while limiting access to social media websites or video/audio streaming sites only during office hours. This can conserve bandwidth and prevent productivity losses at busy times.
There are many mechanisms that are used to block web-borne threats. The first control is the use of blacklists. Blacklists are huge databases of malicious URLs that have been discovered to be used to phish for sensitive information or spread malware and ransomware. Each time an end user clicks on a link or types in a URL into the address bar, a URL filtering solution will check that URL against one or more blacklists. If the URL matches or an entry in a blacklist or if the domain is known to be used by cybercriminals, access to the website or webpage will be blocked.
It is also possible to block website access using keywords. A keyword filter can be used to block a website based on a specific keyword that is present in the URL. Businesses can use keyword filters to prevent access to sites of a sexual nature or webpages containing hate speech, or racist and religious extremist material.
TitanHQ offers three enterprise-class web filtering tools to ensure the needs of all businesses are met. Each of the web filtering options is quick and easy to install, has no discernable impact on Internet speed, has a low management overhead, and can be used on any system to protect any number of users.
WebTitan Gateway is TitanHQ’s most powerful web filtering solution and offers the highest degree of protection from web-borne threats. WebTitan Gateway offers all the benefits of a hardware-based web filtering solution at a fraction of the price. WebTitan Gateway can be installed on existing hardware or in a virtual environment and will integrate seamlessly into your existing network.
WebTitan Cloud is a 100% cloud-based web filtering tool. WebTitan Cloud is quick and easy to install and provides excellent control over the web content that can be accessed by employees and customers. This DNS-based URL filtering solution can be implemented by simply changing your organization’s DNS settings and pointing them to TitanHQ. No software downloads are required and no additional hardware needs to be purchased, making it an ideal choice for MSPs.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi allows organizations to carefully control the websites that can be accessed via WiFi networks. This highly scalable web filtering tool can be used to protect single routers or nationwide networks of WiFi hotspots with no latency.
WebTitan Gateway, WebTitan Cloud, and WebTitan Cloud for WiFi are all available on a 30-day, no obligation free trial. At TitanHQ we believe the best way to determine if one of our products is right for your organization is to try before you buy.
We believe that after enjoying the benefits that come from filtering the Internet and discovering how easy your chosen URL filtering tool is to implement and maintain, you will decide at the end of the 30-day trial that you will want to continue. However, if for any reason you do not, there is no obligation to continue.
During the trial, you will receive full technical and customer support and will receive assistance getting started and applying your filtering controls.
To take advantage of this offer and to find out more about TitanHQ’s range of web filtering options, contact our friendly sales technicians today.
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